After a wonderfully relaxing holiday aboard CMV’s Magellan, Sarah Proctor has found answers to all her own objections… and a few more too!
But I Can’t Swim…
Almost the first thing we did after boarding was a full lifeboat drill. Fetch life jackets from cabin, locate muster point and proceed to the correct lifeboat (there are dozens of life rafts too).
Staff were everywhere, poised to help, and stragglers were efficiently located.
With high railings everywhere, you would have to put in a good bit of effort to succeed in falling overboard. Plus in these days of universal communications, in the unlikely event of a disaster, help would be on the way within seconds of an alarm being sounded. Relax!
I Haven’t Got Enough Posh Frocks
Disappointingly for me (as I’d staged several raids on TKMaxx and Quiz and borrowed jewellery from My Weekly Beauty Editor Audrey!) there were only two Gala Nights during the week we were on board.
Neither of them was on my birthday, but I put on my black and gold sparkly number then anyway and had a lovely evening.
The other nights were smart casual – no shorts or vests allowed, but anything else was OK.
All the people we met were relaxed and friendly – cruising is no longer the preserve of the rich or snobbish! There was a chance to have your photo taken with the captain but it wasn’t compulsory.
I’ll Spend My Time Being Seasick
Try a taster one-night cruise to test out your sea legs. Modern cruisers are very stable and the week we sailed to Norway in May, the North Sea was as flat as a pancake. Well, apart from one night of 3-metre waves, which we were warned about in advance – and hardly noticed as we slept.
However if you are still affected, you could try a river cruise such as the Rhine.
What If I Catch Something…
Very unlikely on the CMV cruise we were on. There was hand sanitiser everywhere and passengers quickly got into the habit of using it as they entered and left restaurants or toilets.
In the buffet restaurant, a member of staff in gloves handed out cutlery, so there were no sticky mitts rummaging in the tray. And you’d better practise your tong technique for picking up portions of food – no fingers allowed!
Stage Shows Aren’t My Thing
While the dedicated and talented entertainment team put on a different song and dance extravaganza every night, there was also a comedian, a lady giving wildlife talks, games of shuffleboard and juggling workshops.
Then there was a casino, a library, board games, old-time dancing, pub quizzes… and game shows. These included a cheeky, unforgettable game of Mr & Mrs in the Captain’s Lounge.
There are also a number of organised social events especially for solo passengers.
If none of these appeal, you are free to simply go up on deck or sit by a window in a lounge and enjoy the many moods of sea and sky.
I Have Mobility Problems
So did many passengers on our cruise. But on CMV’s Magellan, there are 8 lifts, relatively wide corridors and spacious lounges plus well-practised emergency procedures.
With forward planning, it’s possible to secure not only an accessible cabin but also shore excursions that go beyond tootling about at the dockside! More information on this here.
I’m Worried About Language Difficulties
Most staff on Magellan had an excellent standard of English and a very friendly manner.
If you’re at all worried, P&O’s unique selling point is that everything on their ships is geared to British tastes (including a number of Strictly-themed cruises) so you should have no problems with them!
Tipping (Or Not) Makes Me Feel Awkward
With CMV it’s recommended that you purchase a tips package in advance – working out at £6 per person per day.
This is then shared equally among the 600+ staff. Many of whom you will never see but they all work hard to give you a wonderful holiday. Having done this, even a socially panicky person like me can relax!
There are more expensive packages that include unlimited alcohol and VIP privileges. But for a bottle of wine between two at dinner and an odd drink in the afternoon or evening, we decided those weren’t worth it.
I Want/Don’t Want To Take The Kids
Pick your ship! There’s a great choice of floating entertainment palaces crammed with climbing walls, ice rinks, kids’ clubs and chicken nuggets. Conversely there are just as many adults-only traditional style cruise ships with a calmer atmosphere. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the latter…
**Cruise Special Offer**
The Best of Norway & Scottish Isles cruise aboard the CMV Magellan is available with up to 40% off on bookings made by December 9, 2019. Full details here.
For a brochure or to book, call 01224 338004 quoting ‘MW Cruise 2020’ or visit www.dcttravel.co.uk/cruise2020.